Wednesday

Helping Kids Deal With Their Fear of Bugs

Do bugs get in the way of your kids enjoying the outdoors? My son hates bugs. If he gets one on him he immediately wants to go home. There have even been times he hasn't wanted to go outdoors, especially hiking, because of bugs. So I have had to come up with a few tricks to help him deal with his fears and make our outdoor time enjoyable. Hope they help you as well.
Helping kids deal with their fear of bugs?

Set a good example and don't overreact. Kids follow our examples. If we are overreacting to bugs on ourselves or our kids, they will probably overreact as well.

Introduce your kids to the fun, non-threatening bugs. Butterflies, ladybugs, rolly polly's are great places to start. Help them see that not all bugs are going to fly in your face or sting you.

Learn to ID bugs. Helping your kids to be able to identify the less desirable ones gives them the power to know when to be scared and when not to be.

Explain why bugs are important. A lot of bugs help plants and humans. I tell my son that some bugs help plants grow and that we need plants to live. Explain whatever is appropriate for your kids.

Use bug spray. Duh, I know. But sometimes kids feel safer just having been sprayed (placebo effect).

Carry calamine lotion or aloe in case of a bug bite. They both help reduce the sting.

Wear long pants and sleeves to reduce the amount of exposed skin. There are a lot of light weight options that can be comfortable when hot.

Carry a stick to knock spider webs out of the way. Sometimes there are so many spider webs across a trail we just wave a stick in front of us the whole time we are hiking.

Adults go first. That way you can catch any webs or nests before the kids get to them.

Don't go out at dawn and dusk. They are the cooler parts of the day but that is also when bugs seem to be out in force.

Don't go to an area where bugs tend to be thickest, like water fronts.

Check out this fun activity from Rain or Shine Mamma for introducing you kids to bugs in a non-threatening way.

What do you do to help your kids understand and overcome their fear of bugs?

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Bonbon Break


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
Mud Mud Marvellous Mud - Outdoor Play Party

16 comments:

  1. There are some really good tips here, Mae! l think the first one is especially important. I always try to be excited or at least neutral even when the girls find something that I think is gross. Our behavior rubs off on them. Of course, my girls are completely fearless of bugs, so I almost have to hold them back sometimes:o) That's where we need to work more on number three, learning to ID bugs, so that we know which ones they shouldn't pick up.

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    1. Thanks. That is awesome your girls aren't scared of bugs. Makes for some fun outdoor activities I am sure.

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  2. Great tips!! My son likes looking at bugs but doesn't want to hold them, and unfortunately thanks to a well-meaning relative, he is scared of bumblebees. I'm going to use some of these tips to help him, I think. We've already been talking about how bumblebees collect pollen and make honey, and I think that has helped. Now if I could just get him to be ok with holding a rolypoly!

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    1. Explaining why bugs are important has REALLY helped my son. Good luck and thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Great tips here. We are ok with most things except spiders so I am trying to be really brave around them so the kids don't find them scary! #countrykids

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    1. Funny, I do ok with spiders. Good luck and thanks for stopping by.

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  4. My son was okay with bug but recently I notice how he wont touch them. I wonder why. I am squeamish with them but in front of him I try to look brave. Hopefully its not me who has been influencing him to be scared. These are nice tips. I will try to apply this on our future walks. Thanks. #CountryKids

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    1. Glad you like the ideas. Good luck.

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  5. Great tips, Monkey at just 2 had a funny stage of being scared of ants, we've basically tried to be calm and told him that the ants are more scared of him than he is of them, which seems to help! We will see if this still works as he gets older though! :) #outdoorplayparty

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    1. Good luck. At least ants are usually easy to spot.

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  6. Great practical advice and tips to help our little ones deal with any fear they may have of bugs. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

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  7. Great post! Little Man was frightened of bugs for a short while, now he runs around the house catching spiders. He is still wary of touching them but even this is waning, every now and then he will just pick one up (often squashing it :-/!) Thanks for sharing at the Outdoor Play Party :-)

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    1. It is probably a good thing he doesn't want to touch them. Thanks for stopping by.

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